Marine Vacth | The Fantasy Arrived via Horse Drawn Futurists
Marine Vacth is looking out over an expansive view of Manhattan with an air of quiet confidence. Fresh off the plane from Paris but showing no signs of jet-lag, her intriguing beauty proves to be as evident in person as it is on screen. With her roots in modeling—her most recent work being Chanel’s Cruise Season 2017-18 campaign—Vacth is adept at leveraging her natural grace, but always with an compelling complication.
She is poised and charming, fashionable in a way that is subtly underpinned with a playful androgyny, and she easily slips between French and English as she recalls her latest performance in L’Amant Double (Double Lover), which has received wide acclaim. But, she tells me, the common fantasy of becoming an actress wasn’t initially one she subscribed to. “At first when I was modeling, I didn’t want to act. Then came Young & Beautiful with François Ozon. It was during that project that I realized I wanted to continue and go further.”
Young & Beautiful, where she plays the role of an apathetic teen courtesan who explores her life as a call girl in the depths of hotel-room trysts, put Vacth on the scene as an enterprising ingénue in the French vein of Brigitte Bardot or Romy Schneider, but with a twist—no longer a passive receptacle of the male gaze, Vacth’s character displays great power in her sexuality, and a distinctive kind of vulnerability that strongly resonates with young women facing the confusion of a world wrapped in false pretense. Her role in Double Lover revisits these themes:
“I think this movie was true to my previous film as Isabelle [Young & Beautiful]. It was a slight reference and sort of wink at that character,” she reveals. Produced by François Ozon, Double Lover is a psychosexual thriller that features Vacth as Chloé—an emotionally vulnerable woman who begins dating her psychoanalyst while becoming involved with his “double,” who claims to be his twin, and soon finding herself ensnared in a world of manipulation, lies, and dark secrets. The film opens with a haircut—one in which Chloé’s long brunette bangs are clipped into a short pixie cut. Regarding the peculiar opening scene, Vacth states, “François wasn’t sure if he was going to put it in the film or not because we did it as a test...I think it was a powerful image [that viewers needed] to understand the character.”
Throughout the film, Ozon flirts with the idea of duality in a variety of manifestations: our inner and outer selves, our often convoluted motivations, the entanglements of fantasy and reality. We are often left wondering what is real and what is imagination. Many of these themes extend into the topic of private versus public life and the complex nature of personality. It’s an idea that clearly resonates with Vacth: “We are all doubles, I think. We don’t show everything to the people we meet,” she tells me. With her latest role, she hopes to provoke audiences into taking an active approach to their viewing experience. “Whether they like the film or not, when they leave, I would like them to generate questions in their minds and to just think about it.”
Written by Morgan Vickery
Photographed by Kayee Kiu